The Shanghai Scoop is a monthly column dedicated to the latest food and drink news happening in Shanghai.
Opening Soon in Shanghai
First off, a few soundbites: DA VITTORIO is opening a casual restaurant called New Wave on Xizang Bei Lu in Q3 this year. And there might be a third Cheesecake Factory in Shanghai in the near future.
Also rumor has it that Mexican-inspired craft cocktail bar COA (Hong Kong, #8 on World’s 50 Best Bars 2020, #1 50 Best Bars Asia 2021) is opening in Shanghai.
Shanghai Oud, the group behind J.Boroski Shanghai, MOST Izakaya and Bistro 11 is opening two concepts near Rockbund. Due to open in July is The Upper Room, a rooftop cocktail bar that is sure to have a strong drinks program, headed by J.Boroski mixologist Mark Lloyd.
On the floor below will be The Living Room, an all-day brunch spot. It’ll be in a similar vein to Bistro 11, the group’s brunchy cafe on Fumin Lu, but also offer more dinner options.
Matt Waters, founder of Smoke KCQ is joining forces with The Camel Group to bring Kansas-style barbecue to downtown Shanghai. The Camel on Xiangyang Lu will get a rebrand, turning into “The Smokehouse” come late May. Expect the likes of smash burgers, brisket burnt end sandwiches, and a whole lot of smoked meats.
Royal Patat is moving to Jing’an, opening early June in the basement of Reel Mall. Fries galore, but also 10-15 more deep-fried snacky foods. Massively unhealthy? Yes. Equally enjoyable? Also, yes.
Italo is getting a rebrand, launching end of May — “Trattoria Italo” is going to be a back-to-roots Italian casual restaurant helmed by chef Lucky Lasagna. On the menu will be fresh pastas, antipasti, and comfort Italian food, plus a martini trolley. Kicks off May 27.
Now Open: New & Hot Restaurants
This is a hot new opening. Ember Shanghai is a high-end Japanese restaurant that does niku kappo omakase. As in, beef is every dish. It’s a collaboration with ZT Hospitality group (the same people behind Torisawa) and Nakahara, Tokyo.
The first Ember opened in Shenzhen and is highly lauded, which would explain the fervor surrounding the Shanghai opening—the bar counter seats are currently booked until mid June.
They have two set menus, yakiniku omakase (¥880/person) in all the PDR and banquette seats, the other is niku kappo omakase ¥1,280/person for counter seats only. There are also two supplemental courses, the signature wagyu sandwich (¥328), and the smoked beef tongue (¥180).
In soft opening is Grand Banks, a restaurant and lounge by the Bund on Sichuan Zhong Lu. Food is a mix of Mediterranean and Asian, paired with creative cocktails. It’s from a newcomer restaurant group, founded by Chris Shao, owner of Objective Gallery and architecture and design firm Chris Shao Studios.
The space looks gorgeous, housed in a historical 1920s baroque building, done up with tasteful furniture and accents of marble, silver and wood. Soft opening from Wed-Sun from 6pm. Brunch and lunch to start in June.
Another soft opening is the second location of Ochiyo. The original Ochiyo is an excellent, intimate omakase tucked away in a lane house. This new Ochiyo at 1710 Huaihai Zhong Lu is a bold undertaking with three concepts, serving yakitori, yakiniku, and sushi. Each arm of the Japanese restaurant has a dedicated bar counter, and all have set menus.
The yakitori bar is ¥680 and does a selection of chicken, beef, pork and vegetable skewers; a la carte menu available after 8:30pm.
The yakiniku bar set is ¥1,380, serving a niku omakase, a set menu of different cuts of wagyu. The sushi bar has two sets, ¥680 and ¥880, but serving lunch only, and is supposed to be a high value lunch (12 sushi, 3 hot dishes, a soup and a dessert). More on this later on!
Other New Openings
Le Jardin de JR is a new French cafe in Xuhui. And contrary to what you may have heard or read, it is in no way connected to Joel Robuchon. The chef, Sunny Liang, however, did work for 7 years at Joel Robuchon.
Now that’s out of the way… Le Jardin de JR is split into two parts—casual with a bakery and fine dining. The food is, um, French. The space looks great, especially the outdoor area. It is uncertain if you can brunch and swim, but let’s say the pool is only for aesthetics.
Ice cream bar Swirlz is now open! Loaded sundaes and cones for summertime and funky flavors like soy sauce caramel.
Located on the ground floor of Wukang Market is AGNES, a smokehouse and grill bar from Mr Willis & Co. On the menu are meats like the slow-cooked m5 Australian Wagyu brisket, and crispy Danish crown pork belly.
Accompanying the sandwiches and meat platters are classic diner drinks and desserts like shakes and house-made ginger beer, and soft-serve ice cream. Extra points for having Mikkeller on tap.
Upstairs of Agnes is Mi Mian Hui Xin for dim sum and Something for brunch, also concepts from Willis & Co. All three of these venues are only open on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday for now.
And there’s more coming this summer! It’s going to be an eventful year. Stay tuned!